Parents watch out for their children as much as they can, but sometimes they get comfortable with their surroundings, or engaged with other things that they don’t always pay as much attention as usual.

This moving account by from Jessica Landim, 23, made me re-live a few moments of my life when my children were growing. Jessica is urging other mums to be wary as she waits for news about her daughter’s health after Leila, 11 months, drank camphor oil.


Parents have been warned after a baby was left fighting for her life in intensive care after consuming a common household product. Leila, aged just 11 months, has been hooked up to a breathing machine at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital after drinking a popular herbal oil.

Mum Jessica Landim, aged 23, has now urged fellow mums and dads to be wary as she waits for news about her daughter. The tot consumed camphor oil – used in many chest rubs.

Jessica described how she had been at home with Leila and her mum last Friday when every parent’s worst nightmare unfolded, the Liverpool Echo reports. She told the Echo: “She started coughing in a desperate way – I thought she was choking. “She was having mini-seizures, her lips turned blue and really big. Then her tongue was rolling around out of her mouth, and she was only breathing every five to 10 seconds. “There was lots of oil on her clothing. She was foaming at the mouth too, and looking through me. I was shaking, it’s indescribable how you feel – I stil can’t stand still.” Leila had grabbed the oil from the head of her mum’s bed, and taken it towards her face, Jessica said.

Leila may not have survived even four hours if she had not been put on the life support machine, she was told. Jessica is studying law at Bangor University. And she has urged any experts with knowledge of the effects of ingesting oils to get in touch with her. In a warning to fellow parents, Jessica further added: “These are household essentials, and I don’t think people realise how serious it can get – we didn’t.

What is camphor oil?

People use camphor topically to relieve pain and reduce itching. It has also been used to treat fungal infections of the toenail, warts, cold sores, hemorrhoids, and osteoarthritis. Camphor is used topically to increase local blood flow and as a “counterirritant,” which reduces pain and swelling by causing irritation.

Although it is an UNSAFE practice, some people take camphor by mouth to help them cough up phlegm, for treating respiratory tract infections, and for flatulence. Experts warn against doing this because, when ingested, camphor can cause serious side effects.

Jessica & Leila

Jessica & Leila